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Compared to other styles of poetry under the category of Haiku and Eastern, there is comparatively little published about the more aggressive senryu.

Senryu, whose name means river willow, uses humor and satire to examine human society. Senryu takes on the form of haiku, but makes greater use of punctuation techniques (ellipses, exclamations, etc.) to convey its point. Senryu can use seasonal kigo, but do not rely on them. In senryu, the seasonal reference should be second in importance to the human portrayal. Contrary to popular belief, not all senryu is humorous. Many express misfortune, eroticism, political views (very important), religion & spirituality, and even anger (observational, not overflowing emotion like tanka). It is often bawdy, devoid of the subtle beauty known in haiku. Animals can also be represented through interaction using human personifications.

Originating during Japan's Edo period, senryu reflected both the societal and political turmoil of the time period. Popularized by a haijin named Senryu Karai, senryu was first recognized in the haiku contests going on in the cities. Haiku was written by the Japanese aristocratic class, court officials, and revered monks. Senryu was embraced and written by the common people. It was later given its own genre and studied alongside haiku and tanka.

While following the form of haiku, senryu is different in that it is not a form in itself. Senryu is a concept, a way of looking at things that are applied to haiku form, and a poetic genre that concerns human nature in its complex layers and emotions. More than being a style like haiku, known for its expression of nature within seasonal themes, senryu is a conceptual spinoff from haiku.

Since 2007, I have studied and written modern haiku, tanka, and senryu. To understand all three gives a wider range for expression. In the case of senryu, you become aware of your reactionary observations with the interaction of humanity from a social and cultural influence.

A small sampling of my own senryu offerings:

wasp nest
in my mailbox—
unpaid bills

soccer ball out of bounds—
kids running
for the ice cream truck

tackle box—
the ciggies Dad left
ten years ago

so much mental baggage
left behind—
a stick of gum in my pocket

beyond the reef
scattered ashes—
his son's trip to Peru
In the spirit of revival and enlightenment with the current articles and projects hosted lately regarding Haiku and Eastern poetry, I was asked to do an essay on the subject concerning the differences between senryu and haiku. Please feel free to fave it for referencing for a literary group, or for your own use. I hope you will let me know what you think, and if you have questions.

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It's a pretty common bit of knowle
Add a Comment:
 
:iconl-inque:
L-Inque Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I love writing Senryu :)
Reply
:iconjade-pandora:
jade-pandora Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2014
:hug: Isn't it wonderfully unique!
Reply
:iconl-inque:
L-Inque Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Yes indeed.  A form very close to my heart, so to speak.  :)
Reply
:iconladymurasaki1:
LadyMurasaki1 Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you - very informative! :D
Reply
:iconjade-pandora:
jade-pandora Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2014
It was my absolute pleasure, Saki! :bow:
Reply
:iconalphabetsoup314:
alphabetsoup314 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
WASPS! D: 
Reply
:iconjade-pandora:
jade-pandora Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013
:giggle: Yesss!  And that really happened, too!
Reply
:icontristancody:
TristanCody Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Student Writer
You know, I came to your profile trying to learn more about Eastern styles of poetry (mainly the Haiku and Tanka) but now I really want to know about these as well. I knew a bit, but this really gives me some motivation to write some. Thank you for that. 
Reply
:iconjade-pandora:
jade-pandora Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
You are most welcome, Tristan. It thrills me that my article is helping to inspire you. To know haiku, tanka, and senryu, is to become a more rounded haijin (one who writes Japanese short form poetry), in how you observe & express.

I hope you will continue to explore my galleries for short form: I have folders especially for what you seek, which should make references more easily accessible.
:iconbowplz: May it all help you with your journey.
Reply
:icontristancody:
TristanCody Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Student Writer
Haijin? What a beautiful name for a writer to have. 

I shall. And thank you for all of the reference material. I truly do appreciate it. :hug:
Reply
:iconkoppo:
Koppo Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2013
makes me want to senryu- about you :)
Reply
:iconjade-pandora:
jade-pandora Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013
:iconblushplz: awww gosh, you should give it a try!
Reply
:iconandrewpom:
andrewpom Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Student Writer
this is really useful actually, thanks c:
not everyone's a genius. it's nice to see a guide that explains things in it's simplest form
Reply
:iconjade-pandora:
jade-pandora Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013
Gosh thank you so much, Andrew. It's rewarding to learn that something I've written is helpful and positive to others.
Reply
:iconvespera:
vespera Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Senryu for the win!

Most of what I write is actually Senryu and not Haiku, but... since dA doesn't distinguish between any of them... *sigh* I wish they would. I really really wish they would.
Reply
:iconjade-pandora:
jade-pandora Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013
Thank you for considering this a win, cause it is as long as it helps others; there's so much misunderstanding about senryu, not to mention haiku.

As for the categories available on dA when posting your short form, yes, it's been that way for as long as I've been here. The best you can do is Haiku and Eastern, however, make your distinctions in your author's notes (which I think are now always called artist's notes), and then cross your fingers that some of the readers passing through will bother to read them.

And yes, there are more senryu posted in dA lit than people realize. That's why I hope my essay can make a wee difference.
Reply
:iconvespera:
vespera Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:nod:

I wish dA would let us be more specific with our form poetry and being able to label it, etc, because... from an educational standpoint, it'd be a great way for young/newer writers to start associating poems with their structures.
Reply
:iconjade-pandora:
jade-pandora Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013
Well that's why, more than any other reason IMHO, it would be nice to specify - for those readers who aspire to write certain poetic forms. :thumbsup:
Reply
:icontommyboywood:
tommyboywood Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
thank you for this, if possible would you check out my three haiku's and tell me if they are true haiku's?
Reply
:iconjade-pandora:
jade-pandora Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013
Hi, Tom --

I'd like for you to read the essay as thoroughly as you can once you read this reply because of the differences it describes between haiku, and senryu. In the case of your 4 haiku (you said 3 but I actually saw 4), they are all senryu because of their messages of religion/spirituality, and of hope for mankind to turn things around when it comes to the treatment of others, and of the planet itself. I even noticed someone commenting to one of your pieces about a difference between the two types. I think it was the same person, however, who also said that both go by a 5-7-5 syllable count, but that does not apply to English haiku & senryu. And the 5-7-5 for Japanese haiku & senryu refers to sound symbols which are shorter than English syllables. By the way, if you happen to write a haiku or senryu that has the 5-7-5 count, it's fine as long as it was meant to come out that way, and not forced.

So like I said, please read the essay, and look over the sample of senryu listed after, just so you get an idea. Also, haiku & senryu lines begin with lower-case letters.

I hope this helps. Take care.
Reply
:icontommyboywood:
tommyboywood Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
yeah i wrote a fourth for a contest last night AFTER i made the comment on your piece. anyway thanks so much for taking the time. it does help much. the last one though was clearly about nature, is it still senryu?
Reply
:iconjade-pandora:
jade-pandora Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013
Yes, your #4 piece is senryu due to the statement you're making about nature, and how the coral reefs are dying, which is compelling in itself.

I'm glad my essay and my comment has helped you.
Reply
:icontommyboywood:
tommyboywood Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
yes thank you
Reply
:icondaghrgenzeen:
Daghrgenzeen Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome!
Reply
:iconjade-pandora:
jade-pandora Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013
Gosh, thank you so much, Lawra -- and for the fave as well! :thanks:
Reply
:icondaghrgenzeen:
Daghrgenzeen Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You are welcome! :love:
Reply
:iconrlkirkland:
rlkirkland Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
This should be very helpful Jade. :)
Reply
:iconjade-pandora:
jade-pandora Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013
I sure hope so, thank you, Ron. :thanks:
Reply
:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013   Writer
:thumbsup:
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:iconjade-pandora:
jade-pandora Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013
Thank you for the fave, Shane -- I just finished fixing a couple of typos; now I think it's as ready as I can make it.
Reply
:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013   Writer
Cool! I'm glad you wrote this - now I have something to link people to when this question comes up. :)
Reply
:iconjade-pandora:
jade-pandora Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013
Gosh, thank you -- high praise indeed. :thanks:
Reply
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